Current Catalog Description

Overview of systems and network administration in a networked UNIX-like environment. System installation, configuration, administration, and maintenance; security principles; ethics; network, host, and user management; standard services such as electronic mail, DNS, and WWW; file systems; backups and disaster recovery planning; troubleshooting and support services; automation, scripting; infrastructure planning. Prerequisite: CSE 17 or 18.


Limoncelli, Chulap and Hogan, "The Practice of Cloud System Administration", Addison Wesley (2014), ISBN 978-0321943187

Evi Nemeth, Garth Snyder, Trent R. Hein and Ben Whaley, "UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook", 4th Edition, Prentice Hall (2010), ISBN 978-0131480056


Limoncelli and Hogan, "The Practice of System and Network Administration", 2nd Edition, Addison Wesley (2007), ISBN 978-0321492661


Students will have:

  1. Understand the role and responsibilities of a system administrator
  2. Configure the Linux operating system
  3. Describe the system boot process
  4. Setup and manage user accounts and groups
  5. Manage the resources and security of a computer running Linux
  6. Make effective use of Unix utilities, and scripting languages
  7. Configure and manage simple network services on a Linux system
  8. Develop an appreciation of the documentation available as part of an installed Unix/Linux system


CSE 265 provides modest support to the following student enabled characteristics:

A. An ability to apply knowledge of computing and mathematics appropriate to the discipline.

E. An understanding of professional, ethical, legal, security, and social issues and responsibilities.

Prerequisites by Topic

  1. Imperative Programming
  2. Functions
  3. UNIX shell/command line interface


Major Topics Covered in the Course

What does a sysadmin do? Desktops, servers, services; booting; being root; processes; filesystems; user management; backups; disaster recovery; logging; networking; DNS; NFS; email; security; web hosting; software installation, maintenance, and upgrades; printing; performance analysis; helpdesk and customer care; policies; ethics.

Laboratory projects (specify number of weeks on each)

Installation and booting - 2 weeks

Local and remote disks and filesystems - 4 weeks

Networking and security - 3 weeks

Services, logging, and backups - 5 weeks

Oral and Written Communications

Every student is required to submit at least 2 written reports (not including exams, tests, quizzes, or commented programs) of typically 4 pages and to make 0 oral presentations of typically 0 minutes duration. Include only material that is graded for grammar, spelling, style, and so forth, as well as for technical content, completeness, and accuracy.

Social and Ethical Issues

Approximately two lectures cover ethical issues, including administrative powers, situations with legal and ethical concerns, and privacy.

This material is tested by homework and exam questions.